MUSICJuly 03, 2021

11 Southeast Asian Artists You Should Listen to Right Now

Been wanting to add some music from Southeast Asian artists to your playlist? Look no further!

1. beabadoobee

Indie rock artist beabadoobee was born in the Phillippines and raised in the UK. While many of her songs are backed with powerful guitar and bass, she also has a beautiful falsetto voice for acoustic ballad songs. If you’ve heard the “death bed (coffee for your head)” remix on TikTok, she is the artist behind the original song. One of her records that best showcases her music style and versatility is her Patched Up EP, and she recently put out her debut album Fake It Flowers.

2. keshi

Keshi is an alternative artist who is Vietnamese-American and raised in Houston, Texas. His music is very chill and perfect to listen to while studying, crying, or dramatically staring out the car window. Along with his soothing and impressive vocals, his songs are often full of guitar and lo-fi beat drops. To get into his discography, listen to his EP trilogy skeletons, bandaids, and always.

3. Toro y Moi

Toro y Moi is a versatile half-Filipino artist that creates hypnotic music, often accredited as one of the biggest musicians of the ‘chillwave’ movement. His songs are audibly interesting to listen to, particularly with his incorporation of various percussion instruments. One track that displays his captivating style of music is “Ordinary Pleasure”.

4. Phum Viphurit

Born in Thailand and raised in New Zealand, Phum Viphurit is an alternative/indie artist who makes upbeat and dreamy music. His tunes perfectly match the vibe of filming a montage with your friends on an old-school camera. His most acclaimed song is “Lover Boy” which contains cheerful lyrics and a groovy guitar.

5. NIKI

NIKI, who was born and raised in Indonesia, is one of the most prominent women from the 88rising label. Her pop and R&B tracks are incredibly catchy and showcase her amazing vocals, whether it be her more electronic songs or emotional ballads. Her debut album MOONCHILD is themed to different phases of the moon, and Disc 3 of this album containing the songs “Plot Twist”, “If There’s Nothing Left”, and “Drive On” particularly capture her range.

6. khai dreams

If you’re looking for some chill, uplifting ukulele music to jam out to, khai dreams is a great artist to offer a listen. They are half-Vietnamese and from Los Angeles. Their music contains perfect relaxing summer vibes, especially in their song “Sunkissed”. 

7. Ruby Ibarra

Ruby Ibarra is a powerful Filipino rapper with lyrics in English, Tagalog, and Waray. Her music captures her experiences as a woman who was born in the Philippines and immigrated to San Lorenzo, California. Her hip-hop track “Us” is particularly inspiring to Filipina women in the culture of patriarchy and from generations of colonization.

8. Jay Som

Based in Los Angeles, Jay Som is a Filipino artist whose songs mostly fall within the alternative/indie/bedroom pop umbrella. She personally describes herself as making “headphone music” or lo-fi songs that would be fitting as a movie score. Out of her many records, her album Anak Ko especially displays some lyrically personal and shoulder-swaying tracks.

9. Aeden Alvarez

Aeden Alvarez is a Filipino artist with a pure voice, perfect for acoustic songs. His music is similar to old Shawn Mendes songs with a prominent acoustic guitar and relatable lyrics. He makes YouTube vlogs and covers, gaining popularity on TikTok (@aedenalvarez) for his amazing riffs and vocal runs. His latest release is a song titled “natural disaster”.

10. TALA

Manila-based artist TALA makes dreamy music in both English and Tagalog. Her voice is sweet and soothing, beautifully matching the soft beats of her music. Her debut EP, self-titled TALA, showcases both upbeat tunes and calming tracks where you can’t help but appreciate her vocals. 

11. Chevy

Chevy is a Filipino artist from Australia. She rose to popularity on YouTube with her ukulele covers and original songs, after which she began releasing music on streaming platforms. Her voice is soft and sweet, yet surprises listeners by hitting long and powerful high notes. Her lyrics appreciate the little things in life and are coupled with cute ukulele melodies that are reminiscent of a world of lush trees and flowers. She has an EP on the way and a handful of songs out now, such as the comforting “I Know a Place” and bubbly “HALO HALO” with Shawn Wasabi.

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